Is creating a decolonized space in reaction to colonialism truly decolonial?

This morning I was reconsidering the following statement I wrote in the previous post:

This project recognizes that increased visibility and representation of both indigenous and immigrant populations in the Mid-South is a critical first step in undoing the dehumanizing of colonization that allows for the continued discriminating and marginalizing of both groups.

Does a project that exists as a result of colonialism, that seeks to undo the harm of colonialism, get to call itself a “decolonized” space?

Frantz Fanon wrote that “decolonization, as we know, is a historical process; that is to say it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear to itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and content.” Colonization isn’t a moment, or a series of events. It’s an insidious ongoing process of slips and gains, giving and taking, complicity and coercion. It is a process, one so embedded in thinking and ways of knowing, that it is only by studying it that we can avoid replicating it.

All this to say that I’ve decided to be OK with the above statement. Perhaps one day we will get to a place where it doesn’t need to be said, but for now I think intentionally creating a space that hopes to undo the racism, discrimination, and marginalization of indigenous and immigrant people meets the decolonizing mission.

17 thoughts on “Is creating a decolonized space in reaction to colonialism truly decolonial?”

  1. I accept the aforementioned declaration. I think consciously creating a space to combat racism, prejudice, and marginalization of indigenous and immigrant people satisfies the decolonizing mission for now. Free to play backrooms game for thrill moments

  2. By intentionally creating a space that aims to undo these systemic issues, you are actively contributing to the decolonizing mission.

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  9. Your contemplation on the paradox of creating a decolonized space in reaction to colonialism is a thought-provoking exploration, Aksavage. The question of whether a project born out of the historical context of colonialism can genuinely be labeled as “decolonized” raises significant considerations.

    Frantz Fanon’s insight into decolonization as an ongoing historical process adds a layer of complexity to the discussion. The recognition that colonization is deeply ingrained in thinking and ways of knowing highlights the challenges of disentangling from its influence. The acknowledgment that colonization is not a singular event but an ongoing and pervasive process enriches the understanding of the complexities involved in decolonization efforts.

    Your decision to be okay with the statement acknowledging the project as a decolonized space, even though it arises in reaction to colonialism, reflects a nuanced and pragmatic perspective. The acknowledgment that the goal is to intentionally create a space that addresses racism, discrimination, and marginalization aligns with the broader mission of decolonization.

    The humility in recognizing that there may come a time when such statements are no longer needed reflects an awareness of the evolving nature of decolonization and the ongoing work required to challenge and transform existing power dynamics.

    Your exploration delves into the intricacies of decolonization, adding depth to the conversation surrounding the creation of spaces aimed at undoing the harms perpetuated by colonialism. It’s evident that your project is grounded in a sincere commitment to challenging and dismantling oppressive structures. Best wishes on your continued efforts in contributing to the decolonizing mission.

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